Finding the Boundaries


Anonymous asked: “I’m writing crime fiction but I want there to be a romantic subplot. I’m finding it really hard to blend the two together though. They are partners, so how do I make romantic scenes fit with their crime solving?”

One thing with romance is that there is a time and a place for it. While you’re at work and on the clock, you’re not necessarily flirting away every moment of every day even if you’re in love with your coworker. At some point, you’re going to have to get work done. 

When it comes to including romance in a relationship that has a greater mission outside of the romantic subplot (ie: the actual plot), you as the writer have to set boundaries. If they are interviewing a suspect, they might not even suggest that they’re anything other than just partners. If they’re having a drink after work together, they might be a little more playful. When are they all-business? When aren’t they? Where is the line drawn? Sure lines might blur a little, but what happens when? 

The thing about a crime plot is that often the detective or person working to solve the case is not personally involved in the on-going case, though it might be a personal interest or responsibility. Romance on the other hand is incredibly personal and all about them as individuals. Because of this, there will be some footwork, not necessarily in bridging the two plot lines, but providing enough of character background and conflict to flesh them out. 

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